Deeply moved by the economic and educational backwardness of his community after the revolt of 1857, Sir Syed Ahmad Khan was quick to realize that in order to arrest the rapid decline of the community and set it back on its feet, it was necessary to forge new weapons of cultural progress. His exposure to the British universities, particularly those at Oxford and Cambridge, and their public schools, inspired him with a new vision of a harmonious pattern of culture, combining the best elements in the cultures of the East with the arts and sciences of the West. In 1875 he founded a High School at Aligarh, which, within three years, was raised to a college known as Mohammadan Anglo Oriental College. The Aligarh Muslim University established by the Aligarh Muslim University Act of 1920 evolved out of this College.
The Aligarh Muslim University is a premier Central University with several faculties and maintained institutions and draws students from all comers of the country as well as from foreign countries, especially Africa, West Asia and Southeast Asia. In some courses, seats are reserved for students from SAARC and Commonwealth Countries.
In the original scheme of the MA0 College there was no provision for women's education, but there was so much demand for it that in 1942 the Muslim Girls' School was raised to the status of a full-fledged degree college for women. Since the adoption of the Act of 1951, which empowered the University to make special arrangements in respect of residence, discipline and teaching of women students, the college was taken over by the University and is now one of the several institutions maintained by it. As of now the Aligarh Muslim University maintains several colleges and institutes, important among which are the Zakir Hussain College of Engineering & Technology, the Ajmal Khan Tibbiya College, the Jawaharlal Nehru Medical College, the Institute of Ophthalmology, the Institute of Islamic Studies, the Center of West Asian Studies, the Center for Advanced Studies in History, the University Polytechnic, the University Women's Polytechnic and five high schools including one for blind students.
Aligarh is situated in the mid of Doab - the land between the Ganga and Yamuna Rivers, at a distance of 130 km southeast of Delhi on the Delhi-Howrah rail route and the Grand Trunk Road. The latitude is 27o54' N and longitude is 78o05' E. The climate is hot and dry in summer and cold and dry in winter with an intervening rainy season. The University campus is 3 km away from the Aligarh town.
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Department of Geology
Aligarh Muslim University, Aligarh - 202 002 (India)